Dam referendum shows true support

NANAIMO – The dilemma of the politician is to try to satisfy everyone without having the money to do so.

To the Editor,

The dilemma of the politician is to try to satisfy everyone without having the money to do so.

So inevitably scarce resources go to those who mount the most public campaign.

Hardly objective or reasonable.

Anyone attending council meetings on the Colliery Dam Park will appreciate the passionate efforts by some residents to maintain the recreational and aesthetic value that the lakes provide to the park. But is spending millions to rebuild dams the best use of tax dollars for Nanaimo?

All over the world local governments are removing old, decaying dams for public safety, high maintenance costs and to restore rivers to their natural, healthy condition.

The World Wildlife Fund states that one of the primary threats to Canada’s rivers is altered flow and water levels caused by dams.

Colliery Dam Park will remain a beautiful retreat for future generations whether the dams are there. The Chase River has flowed for thousands of years with white water, majestic falls and calm pools. If one wants to preserve a mining era structure one only needs to go nearby to the Harewood Mines Reservoir dam which, built in 1911, is a much more visible and complete heritage work.

Council should determine if the majority of residents truly believe rebuilding the Colliery dams is the right thing to do and at what cost. A referendum would be an option but even a council resolution putting a cap on the funds available for the recreational and aesthetic enhancement component would be a recognition of public concerns.

Fred Kardel

Nanaimo